This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to develop good habits.
Do you live in a world of negative habits? You want to get rid of them, but for some reason they still manage your life? You know what you need to change, but you can not do anything, although many of your habits depends on the quality and duration of your life? Then you need this article!
We pay attention to the advice of a famous psychologist Charles Duhigg. He wrote the book “The Power of Habit”, a world bestseller, for which he was given a prestigious Pulitzer prize. It is in it that he reveals the mechanism of the force of habit and gives effective advice on how to change his usual actions in a positive way.
How To Develop Good Habits
What is habit?
Our brains are created in a very amazing way. If we have only performed some action a few times, it is immediately formed in our habit. Subsequently, we do such actions automatically.
According to scientists, on such automatism we do up to 40% of our daily activities. And this is no longer the result of our choice, but becomes a habit.
Types of habits
Psychologists subdivide the habits of the two species. Let’s call these groups by the degree of influence on our lives:
- positive (useful) habits,
- negative habits.
Positive habits, such as brushing teeth, showering, dressing clothes, Parking cars, make up the usual routine of our daily lives.
However, negative habits do us more harm than good. These include habits of not doing sports, going to bed late, eating junk food and so on. In this case, often a person wants to give up bad habits and have more positive, but it does not work. It is no accident that the habit is called second nature.
But do not despair. The most habitual way of life, and the most routine order can be changed, and without great stress for a loved one. If you still don’t believe it (“I tried so many times!”) then start acting. The advice we will give you has already helped thousands of people to take their time. Why should you be an exception to this list?
How do habits form and act?
All our habits are formed by the same mechanism. The first thing to start the mechanism of habit need some sign. It’s a signal that makes us do the same thing.
An example is the habit of going to bed late. Sign in this case will be that in the evening you turn on the TV or enter the social network. Then there is some action. That is, in our example, you are already starting to watch some TV series or enthusiastically read information from your friends. So an hour passes after hour, and sleep you do not want.
But the power of habit lies in the fact that in the mechanism of formation of constantly recurring actions there is also a third component. It is a reward. You get it after exactly what you have done. In this example with TV or social networks it is an easy way to relax and do interesting things.
Any reward is the release of endorphin (the hormone of joy and pleasure). You are pleased to feel such emotions. Therefore, no matter how you do not want to give it up, but will repeat these steps again and again.
And in return you can even deceive yourself (and the human heart is very sly) with various excuses. Type- ” If now I’m gonna go to bed, then accurately not fall asleep. Still I would be stupid to lie”. Although most often it is not, and even this “lying” will be the best rest to recuperate before tomorrow than a TV, laptop or smartphone.
Thus, we found out that the power of habit consists in three consecutive moments:
It is the interconnection of these stages that creates a very strong dependence. So strong that the habits, in fact, is not so easy to give up.
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How to get rid of bad habits and create useful ones?
To completely get rid of habits that you do not like, and to introduce new useful habits into your life, there are two main ways:
1. Use willpower. But it works not always and not all people. This way is difficult and usually it gives results only in emergency cases. For example, if the doctor tells you that you need to go to bed early, and then from his depression, obsessive-compulsive neurosis or obesity, you will never get out.
That’s when people get scared, and this fear encourages them to change their habits. It is no coincidence that many people quit Smoking only when they are already very serious diagnoses. But waiting for this kind of event is not our option.
2. To apply the scheme of Charles Duhigg. In his scheme of the mechanism of action habits “sign — action – reward” sign and reward need to leave, but the replace action to another.
But to replace the action was painless and even very positive, you need to conduct an honest introspection and find out what a certain habit for you is a sign, and that the reward. That is, you need to analyze where it all starts, and what positive emotions after the action you get.
To determine the “sign” will help you such questions: at what points do you decide to turn on the TV and not to go to social networks? What happened before? What were you thinking or feeling?
To understand your “reward” in the scheme, you also need to ask yourself a number of questions: what do I get in the end? Interesting pastime? So I’m resting and relaxing? Or maybe this way I run away from bad thoughts and problems? Or am I deluding myself by doing something else instead of doing something else?
So, now after your brain got the sign you identified. For example, you ate, took an evening shower, but sleep, as you think, is still early, and you can sit to watch TV or learn news in the social network from friends. But now you are changing the action. Do something that does not entice you so much, will allow you to go to bed during, and at the same time get positive emotions — “reward”.
For example, read an interesting book (preferably not on a smartphone) in bed or lie down before going to bed in a relaxing bath with foam and sea salt (but again without a smartphone in hand), and, for example, with a glass of wine. Or you can draw a little before going to bed, or just lie down and think about the meaning of life. However, remember that this action must cause you pleasure, but do not absorb you so that you forget about the time.
New habits are created on the same principle. For example, you want to do a morning jog before work. Then make a “sign” — put in shape next to the bed. So when you stand up the sign will immediately work for you. And for the award, think of yourself, for example, counting kilometers, dropped kilograms, reducing centimeters in the waist and hips, or just say that “I will resort, I will feel good and in the afternoon at work I will eat a delicious cake.”
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What are the benefits of a conscious change of habits?
Interesting is the psychological fact that one good habit leads to other healthy habits. That is, often a change in just one habitual algorithm of action can radically transform a person’s entire life. In addition to useful habits, to transform life for the better can work on yourself, for example, you can develop soft skills – soft skills. In article read, as.
In 2006, Australian scientists conducted an interesting study of 30 students. The participants of the experiment had to form a habit of careful attitude to Finance. Surprisingly, they almost immediately switched to healthy food (it is cheaper than fast food), and then began to play sports. Also, their academic performance at the University has increased significantly.
In his book “Power of habit” Charles Duhigg talks about his example. At one time he was a man of overweight. At the same time he smoked, and, accordingly, never played sports and ate literally everything. As a result, he felt weaker every day. He had no strength and constantly wanted to sleep. As a result, he went to the doctor, and after the tests he was diagnosed with a prediabetic condition.
The doctor said that he is now an urgent need to give up sweets and foods with lots of carbohydrates. This meant a fundamental change in the author’s eating habits. He needed to eat more healthy food, refuse from fast food and sweets, i.e., before Charles Duhigg regularly tried.
To overcome such habits it was very difficult, but fear to make diabetes was stronger. Charles changed the diet, began to eat more vegetables and fruits, and focused on super-tasty dishes, which at the same time were useful. But these dishes, in fact, a lot.
Gradually his condition began to improve. Also, Charles began to play sports, because he felt more energy and strength. Joined the gym, started running every night.
As a result, he became a healthier, more physically strong and self-confident person. Also, after a while, he gave up Smoking because his willpower had already strengthened by then. At the same time, he also began to go to bed earlier and observe a more correct schedule of sleep and wakefulness.
It had been several years since he had begun to change his first habit. Duhigg could have a sweet tooth, but he still eat it in limited quantities, and get more satisfaction from the delicious and healthy meals. That is, his personal example shows that improving one side of life through a particular habit helps to improve many aspects of his life.
We wish you, too, to conduct a qualitative self-analysis (and if it does not work, then contact a psychologist), to replace negative habits with positive ones in your life, and finally become the master of your own life for your own benefit.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to develop good habits. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.